Patrick Magnuson ‘25
This past weekend in Charlotte, the “men in red” had themselves a day. Heading into the final weekend of play, the Americans lead the International team, as pairings of Spieth–Thomas and Scheffler–Schauffele pushed the lead to 10-2. The international team needed to find someone to lean on, and Tom Kim was that man and much more. He was making everything on Saturday, and he celebrated accordingly. As his birdie putt rolled in on 18 green Saturday morning, he quieted the Charlotte crowd by yelling and jumping into his partner, Si Woo Kim, seemingly as if he knew his celebration before he even lined up his shot. This is exactly what the International team needed after being down so much after the first two days.
It was not just Tom Kim that catalyzed the International squad- it was a great showing for all four South Koreans on the team. Si Woo Kim, K.H. Lee and Sungjae Im’s backs were hurting while carrying the rest of the team. These guys do not get enough credit in American media. They really showed their true colors this weekend and I believe they will secure many major championships in the future. Just 20 years old, Tom Kim will be a favorite for many fans for a long time to come.
In Round 4, the Americans gave up three vital points, and the lead was shortened to four points going into Sunday. Overcoming a deficit of 4 is not an impossible feat, but Trever Immelman and the rest of the International team would have to pull a lot of rabbits out of their hats. The broadcast on Sunday did not show just how close the matches actually were, and I believe it all came down to Hideki Matsuyama’s last hole. He piped a gorgeous drive, but as it was landing, he hit an official’s leg and the ball went deep into the rough. He had no shot for the green and ended up tying his match. If Hideki had won that match, it may have changed the course of the day. Patrick Cantlay had a fantastic weekend, but was overshadowed by his teammates Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. The two took up most of the spotlight, and they deserved it for their performances. The United States were titled victors Sunday afternoon.
Trevor Immelman, the International team’s captain, claimed that the Americans were the greatest team ever assembled, even with some of the country’s best players unable to participate due to their choice to play in “the tour that shall not be named”: LIV Golf. Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson could not play in the event because of this affiliation. But then again, the team aspect of events like the President’s Cup is often overlooked. Patrick Reed has played in many team events, but is a terrible locker room guy. Teams need players like Kevin Kisner, whose antics as a part of the American team helped build chemistry, to be pushed to victory. Maybe it is not a bad thing for the Americans that some people are playing on the other tour. Unfortunately for the International team, having players on the other tour hurt them. Regardless, it will be very interesting to see how their guys fare in the future.
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